April Reads – taking me to the Amazon, Guyana, a magical London & back in time

I was unable to choose a book of the month for April, so have instead awarded it to two titles, which I’ve added to my pile of green books (covers and content).

First up was Life Lessons From The Amazon by Pip Stewart, who really is an inspiration. Whenever I read adventure books I am always a bit nervous that I will finish the book feeling rather inadequate, but there were no such concerns here. Pip tells her story with such vulnerability and openness that as I finished the last chapter I felt only pride and admiration for what she and the others achieved. I came to look forward to and appreciate the lessons at the start of each chapter. The last chapter really resonated with me, knowing what it’s like to have health problems and to have to wait for a diagnosis. Her writing made me feel like I was on the journey with them but I was quite glad I wasn’t at times!

My second is Fledgling by Hannah Bourne-Taylor which I couldn’t put down, because of the honest and beautiful writing. I was completely drawn into it, feeling every one of Hannah’s emotions as she completely bared her soul. My heart was often in my mouth as events played out, willing everything to be ok. I was fully transported to Ghana, a country I have never visited.

I shall think of Hannah and her experiences as I navigate the countryside in future. I have read a lot of nature memoirs over the last two years and this is one of my absolute favourites. You will love this book if you have a strong connection to nature or if you are drawn to stories by amazing women.

I discovered a new fiction writer this month. Ivan Wainewright was a fellow winner of the UK Selfies Book Awards in the Adult Fiction category, with The Other Times of Caroline Tangent. It drew me in quite gradually. Then, when life for Caroline changed for the worse, I became outraged and simply couldn’t put the book down until I’d found out how it ended! Caroline’s friendships over the years were very touching. Every chapter had both drama and emotion and it was very well researched. I enjoyed the mix of contemporary and historical settings.

The Crow Investigations Series by Sarah Painter has kept me entertained and I love the London backdrop. The Broken Cage was really easy to read, like the rest of the series. I always race to finish before being slightly disappointed that I’ve read the book in two days! I love how the characters are evolving, and the powers that Lydia is gaining keep my interest. There is a fantastic tension between right and wrong, and I like how Lydia grapples with this. I’m looking forward to number eight.

I also finished number three in the Furyck series, which didn’t disappoint. I’m taking a break before reading number four.

Lastly, I read The Art of Roughhousing, a very useful book. It outlines ways to roughhouse (or have some horseplay, as we would say in the UK), and the benefits of doing so. It gives age recommendations for each method and has diagrams to ensure you do it safely.

My daughter is nine and I wish I’d read this earlier! She definitely benefits from some horseplay, and it can be difficult to know what to do, and how to keep it safe. I think it would be better in paperback so you can flick back and forth to choose a method of ‘roughhousing’, so after buying it on my Kindle I might now buy that version.

You can find all my reads and reviews on Good Reads, and you can buy my book, The Cactus Surgeon, here.

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